SEWARD, Neb. – In a physical battle with the second-highest rated squad in the GPAC, the Concordia University men’s soccer team came up on the short end of a 2-1 score. Twenty-third ranked Midland earned a measure of revenge for last year’s GPAC semifinal with its win underneath the Bulldog Stadium lights on Wednesday night.
Ninth-year head coach Jason Weides’ squad now rests at 6-4-2 overall and 3-2 in conference play. Concordia’s lone GPAC losses have come against the two teams that reside at the top of the league standings.
“Certainly Midland’s a good team. If you’re going to beat them you have to play your best,” Weides said. “We fell short of playing our best today. In the second half we came a lot closer to that, but unfortunately we were a man down at that point. It was just a little too late. I think the positive that we can take away from this game is the fight and resiliency our team showed in the second half.”
The Bulldogs made the final minutes tense thanks to senior Andrew Mussell’s 62nd-minute goal. The native of Buffalo, Minn., headed in a corner from Lewis Rathbone for his second goal of the season. That effort highlighted a second half that saw Concordia outshoot Midland, 5-4.
It wasn’t enough, however, to overcome a sluggish start. Ali Sodal struck for his 15th goal of the year by striking a penalty kick into the net less than six minutes into the game. Another goal followed soon after when Lee Bishop scored in the 12th minute. The Bulldogs then returned to their stingy defensive manners to make it a climactic finish.
Midland (10-2-1, 3-1 GPAC) outshot Concordia, 14-11, on the night. Sodal was the most active Warrior, putting up four shots (three on goal). On the other end of the field, junior Marcelo Hernandez came close to putting away a goal right on the heels of the Mussell header. Hernandez fired five shots to lead the Bulldogs.
Concordia had entered the night with a mark of 7-1-2 over its previous 10 games against GPAC opponents. The Bulldogs had also carried a 3-1 home record prior to Wednesday’s blemish.
The Bulldogs will return to action Saturday when they play in Sioux Center, Iowa, on the home turf of Dordt (5-8, 1-3 GPAC). Concordia will attempt to attempt to knock off the Defenders for the first time since 2011.